Around the World 2020 - Some First with Business - FEB

Discussion in 'Holidays & Travel' started by Plax, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Plax

    Plax Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Messages:
    424
    Location:
    Canberra
    A couple of years ago I went on a trip overseas with work, I thought I was very blessed getting Business Flex and cheekily upgraded to First with points on a Qantas long leg home. I enjoyed it thoroughly and wanted to have a similar experience again but didn't investigate how. Then....6 months later I ended up in a thread here about nin82 going around the world on points and down the rabbit hole I went.

    Target 420,000 QFF Oneworld classic flight reward.
    Acquired by getting the usual credit card bonuses(several), wines from Epiqure and using the cards for a fair few purchases.
    After I got enough points I then paid an award booking service to find me the best flights possible and that was the best decision I've ever made.

    In February next year I start my journey and I'm so excited!!!
    I hadn't even thought about destinations until I was very close to the target...here's the flights;

    Canberra to Beijing - 7 Days
    CBR-ADL - Qantas 737-800 Business
    ADL-HKG - Cathay Pacific A330-300 Business
    HKG-PEK - Cathay Pacific 777-300ER First

    Beijing to Tokyo - 6 Days
    PEK-HKG - Cathay Dragon A330-330 First
    HKG-NRT - Cathay Pacific A330-300 Business

    Tokyo to Los Angeles - US 20 days
    NRT-LAX - Japan Airlines 777-300ER First
    US Locations: Los Angeles - San Fran - New York

    New York to Rome - Europe 18 days
    EWR-LHR - British Airways 787-9 First
    LHR-FCO - British Airways A320 Business

    Rome to Zurich by train stopping along the way

    Zurich to Delhi - 6 Days
    ZRH-LHR - British Airways A320 Business
    LHR-DEL - British Airways 777-200/300 Business

    Delhi to Canberra
    DEL-CMB - SriLankan Airlines A321 Business
    CMB-SIN - SriLankan Airlines A330-200 Business
    SIN-SYD - British Airways 777-200/300 First
    SYD-CBR - Qantaslink 717 Business

    Cost 420,000 QFF + ~$1800 Taxes
    Total CC Annual Fees ~$800
    Award Booking ~$300
    Total Cost ~$2900

    I really wish I could have extended my time in Tokyo but work commitments and first class flight timing stopped that.
    Flight highlights - The longer first class flights, Tokyo to Los Angeles with Japan Airlines and New York to London with British Airways (Just because it's the dreamliner)
    I've definitely gone overboard mapping all the airport lounges and I'm looking forward to a couple of first class lounges at Hong Kong.
    Now the flight path is sorted, it's time to plan the rest of the trip :D .
    For starters I'm going to sort out tours before I leave Aus for China, India and maybe Japan but wing the rest.

    *Updated taxes amount
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  2. nin82

    nin82 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Nice one :thumbup:
    Just got back from Tokyo flying peasant class and definitely miss flying flat.

    Interested to know more about this award booking service, (now that I'm a time poor dad I haven't had much spare time to play around with award point flight searches) can you tell me more about who you used and how it works?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Plax

    Plax Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Messages:
    424
    Location:
    Canberra
    Sure and congrats on the child :)

    As you're aware it can take a while preparing your flights and book them.

    There's a pile of award booking services out there but I used Frequent Flyer Solutions Award Flight Assist (no affiliation).
    It's pretty simple, you send them a quote to see if they can help you, they say yes, you approve to continue, they charge you and search for the flights until you agree with their results. I'd say I spent maybe half an hour on it all (Including the call to Qantas and the guy was fantastic:shock:).
    There's a report they send you which includes a 'How to book with Qantas' section for newbies which I thought was a nice touch. ( I don't think that's included in their sample report)

    My experience;
    I requested a quote using their form to see if they could assist me. This included a flight plan of preferred dates, date flexibility, locations and any preferred airlines. I also chucked in the Surface Segments with the travel date as Surface Segment.
    There was a comments/special request section and I gave them a bit more information as per below;
    ___
    Start Date Range xx/xx/2020 - xx/xx/2020
    I am open to transit days if this increases my chances of having more FC legs or just to have a day out.
    I don't mind taking a small detour to have an additional FC leg and I'd prefer to get as many FC legs as possible with different airlines (Qatar would be great ;) ).
    I'm aware I won't get Qantas FC on the first leg since they don't release the seats to Silver status until 297 days out.
    The other award seats on my flight path seem to be available at around 350-360 days excluding AA at 330. (https://frequentflyer.com.au/when-to-book-award-flights)
    I would prefer to keep longer stays for x, y and z locations if possible.
    ___

    Less than an hour later I was informed by email that they could assist me.
    About a day later they asked if I was flexible with changing my order of destinations to maximise my chances of getting first class. I was and a few hours later they provided with a sample itinerary and detailed information on anything unavailable from the options they tried (ie; Qatar FC :().
    We tweaked one flight through email, the results were finalised, I got their report with the itinerary half a day later then rang Qantas.
     
  4. nin82

    nin82 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Thanks for sharing your experience with that award booking service, definitely sounds worth it considering the amount of time saved especially when dealing with Qantas on the phone :thumbup:
     

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